EUROBODALLA Shire Council is now working with Shoalhaven City Council to set new benchmarks for sea level rise.
In 2012, the NSW Government introduced a series of coastal reforms that included setting aside the NSW Sea Level Rise Policy Statement.
This was to allow individual local councils the scope to investigate possible regional variations for sea level rise in their areas along the NSW coastline.
In the Eurobodalla, the setting aside of the policy statement resulted in council suspending any further preparation work on the Eurobodalla Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).
Now council has taken the initiative to establish a project that will investigate sea level rise on a regional scale and will eventually enable council to adopt sea level rise planning benchmarks and begin preparing the Eurobodalla CZMP again.
After a resolution on July 2 to seek partners for the regional sea level rise project, given that sea level rise is an issue for all South Coast councils, Eurobodalla council has been able to secure Shoalhaven City as a partner.
A council spokesperson said Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven councils were now looking towards appointing a suitable consultant to examine the range of available science and the utility of local tide gauges to measure any trends of significance along the coastline.
This data will be used to determine a minimum baseline position that will show what has happened historically.
The project will also estimate sea level rise projections by examining the most recent literature published by leading Australian and international scientists and institutions.
These projections, once adopted by council will enable the completion of the Coastal Zone Management Plan.
The costs of the project work will be offset by financial assistance to Eurobodalla Shire Council from the NSW Government.
In addition and in response to community concerns, council has made changes to the information provided in section 149 certificates.
Council now simply advises via the certificate if the councils Interim SLR Policy applies, and no longer makes direct reference to the actual SLR planning benchmarks applied by council.
Interested parties will need to review the policy to obtain such information.